Being a parent of a child athlete poses a number of challenges. Coaches from the best springboard diving San Diego club (you got it, Dive San Diego) understand that parents not only experience challenges in helping their child learn how to cope with the ups and downs in competitive sports, but they also know that moms and dads often grapple with their own coping skills. Whether your kids are enrolled in San Diego springboard diving lessons at a beginner’s level, or they are competing in dive meets and various competitions, learning how to manage parental emotions can be just as tough as doing a backwards twist off the platform.
When Loving Your Child Can Backfire
You love your child, but sometimes love can lead to behavior that may harm your son or daughter. When you push your child athlete to succeed, you may be fostering the inclination to be selfish. Here are some tips that may help you support your special diver in a healthy and nurturing manner:
- Being a dreamer – Loving parents have big dreams for their kids. It is only normal you want the best for their future. Just make sure you and your child are on the same page. All too often a child may want to develop diving skills simply for fun and making new friends, while parents have Olympic dreams and see gold medals ahead. Not all student divers want to compete at this level.
- Identifying with your child – Parents who have close relationships with their kids clearly identify with them. Just make sure you are not neglecting your child’s feelings by focusing on your own under the assumption that yours and theirs are in alignment. Open and honest communication will clear up any confusion.
- Parental competition – Remember, your kids are the ones competing in springboard diving San Diego meets; you are not supposed to compete with other parents. Without meaning to, parents can hope for other kids to fail in order to see their child succeed. This can lead to “negative cheering” which can cause parents of competing divers to verbally (and sometimes even physically) spar with one another in the bleachers. Try not to focus on the divers your child is competing against; instead focus on your own kid and support and praise him no matter how well the rival performs. More importantly, give your child praise and support when he has an off day.
- Choose your words wisely – All too often parents will focus on the “sacrifice” they make rather than the “investment”. There is a catch-22 here, and if you recognize it, you can better make sense of it. Almost all parents make sacrifices, which is the way it should be. But the word “sacrifice” has a negative connotation in that it means you are giving up something of value. If you value your kids above your own needs or pleasure, than it is not really a sacrifice. Instead you are simply giving them the most you can in order for them to be happy and healthy. You are investing in your kids. However, the word “investment” can also lead parents down the wrong path of thought. If you invest your time, money and energy into your child’s San Diego springboard diving competitions and he doesn’t come in first, you may be tempted to view this as a poor return on your investment. Remember that failure leads to learning, and in order to win a child must learn from mistakes. In other words, there is no such thing as failure. Therefore, your “investment” has been met and is giving you a nice return, so long as your child is happy, having fun, and learning along the way. So when you contemplate the words you associate with your feelings, choose them wisely and explore their true meaning.
Be the All-Star Springboard Diving Parent!
Don’t just shout out praise when your child performs that perfect somersault off the high dive—cheer your encouragement when they don’t follow through the maneuver or make a sloppy entry. In addition to having the best springboard diving coach who can teach the fine mechanics and mentally prepare your kids, you need to be in their corner representing their best interest, and not yours if you want to see them succeed.